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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
FRBSF Economic Letter
What’s driving medical-care spending growth?
Adam Hale Shapiro
Abstract

Medical-care expenditures have been rising rapidly and now represent almost one-fifth of all U.S. economic activity. An analysis of the privately insured health-care market from 2003 to 2007 indicates that higher prices for medical services contributed largely to nominal spending growth, but did not greatly exceed general overall inflation. In addition, the quantity of services consumed per episode of treatment did not grow during this period. Instead, most of the rise in inflation-adjusted medical-care spending reflected a higher percentage of insurance enrollees receiving treatment.


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Adam Hale Shapiro, "What’s driving medical-care spending growth?" , Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, FRBSF Economic Letter, number 07, 2013.
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Keywords: Medical care; Cost of ; Medical economics
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